As the world staggers through the pandemic, people are wisely asking how to rebuild in ways that make society better than it was before COVID-19.

To explore this topic, Boston Indicators — the research center at The Boston Foundation – has launched a series of articles called, “Seizing the Moment: Proposals for a Just and Equitable Recovery.”

The articles cover a range of policy issues including transportation, housing, and work and the economy. The articles’ authors will speak at a culminating event on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Click here to register.

A newly published article in the series, by Titus Dos Remedios and Marisa Fear of Strategies for Children, covers early education and care.

This article points to the need for new, more ambitious standards for progress: 

“Old progressive policy goals like universal, affordable child care that once seemed far out of reach are now part of what’s necessary for an equitable economic recovery for all. If lawmakers don’t seize the current opportunity, the next time the child-care sector is pushed to the brink it may be too late—children, families and providers simply cannot withstand another national emergency.”

“Now, rather than go back to pre-pandemic normal—lower enrollment, slow-and-steady public investment, educator salaries inching towards a living wage—we must seize the opportunity to build back stronger. This is how advocates in all 50 states are meeting the moment. For example, Strategies For Children contributed to a national report by the Alliance for Early Success, calling for substantial reforms and funding in order to increase access and affordability for all families, advance the early care and education profession, reform child-care financing, and build a better child-care business model.”

As the article explains, Strategies is also part of the Common Start Coalition, which supports bills in the State House that would push progress along. This proposed landmark legislation calls for “truly affordable, universal child care statewide.” The full title is “An Act providing affordable and accessible high quality early education and care to promote child development and well-being and support the economy in the Commonwealth.”

As we’ve blogged, the bill was filed in the House (HD.1960) by Representatives Kenneth Gordon (D-Bedford) and Adrian Madaro (D-East Boston). The Senate version (SD.1307) was filed by Senators Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) and Susan Moran (D-Falmouth).

The article concludes in part:

“It may be that things had to get worse before they could get better. The child-care crisis—really a broken system puttering along for decades—needed to be and was made real and visceral to the general public, with babies and young children joining work Zooms, and stories of parents quitting or turning down jobs due to lack of stable child care. Now that we’re all finally invested in this issue, it is time to make systemic change.”

 Please check out the article and share it with your social media and professional networks!